Saint John’s Safe Clean Drinking Water Project is about half way to completion.
The more than $200 million project is said to be the largest ever municipal infrastructure project in the province’s history.
On Thursday, members of the media were given a tour of the water treatment plant site where the most impressive sight so far is a massive water storage tank. It’s one of three to be built, each with a capacity of 11 million litres.
“The storage tanks will provide instantaneous water to the customers, so if there are ever any issues at all at the treatment plant we have water for both firefighting and for potable users,” said Dean Price, the city’s point man on the project.
That means the city could have anywhere from a half to full day of treated water before a boil order would have to be issued in the event it was necessary.
This new system, combined with about 20 kilometres of new water pipes, is expected to greatly reduce the need for boil orders in the future.
Port City Water Partners is the consortium building the system. One of the biggest challenges for the project, they say, was dealing with the amount of bedrock at the site. Approximately 45,000 cubic metres of rock are estimated to have been trucked out.
“We knew there was going to be rock, but not so hard,” joked Port City Water Partners project director Pablo Casillas.
The project is on time and on budget so far, which means testing of the treatment plant should take place next summer with the entire project scheduled for completion in late November to early December of 2018.